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Going to French Laundry for the first time, need some suggestions - Page 2

post #16 of 44
I actually looked at the Per Se list again today, and I think I found some decent values. Not good, in fact the pricing is pretty terrible, but I still think they're of ok value compared to the other stuff on the Per Se list. A 1er Chablis from a great producer and a 1er from Vosne-Romanee from a producer I've enjoyed in the past (and the 1er is available in both 1996 and 2002, both vintages I like). I never thought I'd be able to find two wines like this on the Per Se list for a combined $575, but I have!!
post #17 of 44
my guess is that if you really scoured the list, you'd find a couple of surprises. granted, not big-name wines, but delicious wines that you've probably never heard of that would pair well with the food. there's an art to building a big-deal list. you've got to have all the first growths and culties for the high-rollers to feel like they're getting their experience; but you've also got to leaven it with some decent values, or at least, decent enough while still fitting the profit margin requirements.
post #18 of 44
Thread Starter 
Fair enough, Some wines on there fit my budget...but should I just ask the sommellier to choose and give him our price range? I really have no idea what would be a good deal or what would taste good at all with my food.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltricks View Post

Fair enough, Some wines on there fit my budget...but should I just ask the sommellier to choose and give him our price range? I really have no idea what would be a good deal or what would taste good at all with my food.

that's exactly what i would do. be completely honest (and even better, do it in advance so they have some time to do some homework). "this meal is a very big moment for me, but i'm afraid i can only afford to spend $150 to $200 on wines. What do you recommend?"
this won't work at every restaurant, but at most every great restaurant, the staff is really invested in making sure you have a memorable evening. they'll bend over backwards to make sure it works.
quick story: i was in the restaurant one night when a guy was going to propose. he'd e-mailed them a couple of months in advance, had them build a chocolate model of his house with a removable roof where he was going to put the ring. they did it, took a couple of tries to get it to his satisfaction. at the end, he was e-mailing like every day and a half (think conne). finally, the big night came ... and he left the ring in his car. so the manager (TKs fiancee) had to walk a couple of blocks ... in the rain ... to the car to fetch the ring.
I don't even want to know what that bill was. couldn't have been enough.
post #20 of 44
I found the '86 Mouton Rothschild for $1650, which isn't bad at all considering wine-searcher is showing me it's available for $900-1000 in stores.

But eff me, I was looking in Per Se's half-bottle section ffffuuuu.gif The full bottle is on their list for $5,100


I'm sure there are hidden values, but I have never had to look so hard.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post


that's exactly what i would do. be completely honest (and even better, do it in advance so they have some time to do some homework). "this meal is a very big moment for me, but i'm afraid i can only afford to spend $150 to $200 on wines. What do you recommend?"
this won't work at every restaurant, but at most every great restaurant, the staff is really invested in making sure you have a memorable evening. they'll bend over backwards to make sure it works.

+1, this is a good idea. I'd simply ask for delicious wines that are versatile with the menu that night, or do the wines by the glass.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

i'm with young pro. tfl wine list is punishingly expensive unless you have enough experience to navigate it. but the staff works really hard to make sure that everyone has the best possible experience. if it were me, i would e-mail whoever sent you the confirmation. be completely honest and even begging (always works). tell them that you're a poor student who has always dreamed of eating there and now you will be, but your budget won't stretch to include the wine pairings. ask if they have some advice. i'd be willing to be that they will be able to find some way to make the evening great.

You won't get the "Oh. Well, I know who's not going to be tipping me tonight. " and subsequent inattentive service if you mention you're a student?
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by HgaleK View Post


You won't get the "Oh. Well, I know who's not going to be tipping me tonight. " and subsequent inattentive service if you mention you're a student?

service compris!
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by HgaleK View Post


You won't get the "Oh. Well, I know who's not going to be tipping me tonight. " and subsequent inattentive service if you mention you're a student?

Considering service is included, probably not.
post #25 of 44
but you're apparently supposed to tip something extra even though service is already included?
post #26 of 44
of course you can if you choose. but it's an extra 2% to 3% (to get to 20%) and i don't think it's really that critical. OTOH, if they set you up with wine pairings that knock your socks off and do it within your budget, that probably deserves a couple bucks.
post #27 of 44
Not only would bringing in a wine thats on the list be a major faux pas, but it probably wouldnt even be allowed. I know I dont allow people to bring in wine that I sell.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post


service compris!

Ah, thanks. That makes the pricing look a hint more reasonable.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post

Not only would bringing in a wine thats on the list be a major faux pas, but it probably wouldnt even be allowed. I know I dont allow people to bring in wine that I sell.

yes, but as has been amply demonstrated by your moderation of DT, you are a bit of a tyrant. A guy can't even post a pic of his ex without you coming along and deleting posts!
post #30 of 44
If being a tyrant puts me in the same camp as Master Somm Matt Stamp, im okay with it.
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